India launches its mission to the unexplored South Pole of the Moon

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on Friday launched its ambitious mission to explore the south pole of the Moon, Chandrayaan-3a probe that should land on the satellite between August 23 and 24, after the failed landing on the moon four years ago.

The launch of Chandrayaan-3 with the rocket Mark-III Launch Vehicle (LVM3) It took place at 2:35 pm (11:05 am Spanish peninsula time) on Friday in central Sriharikota in the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, as scheduled, ISRO showed live during the countdown.

The Indian Chandrayaan-3 mission is due to land on the Moon around August 23rd.

The spacecraft will orbit Earth before starting the 384,400 kilometer journey to the Moon, where it will enter orbit before performing the landing maneuver around August 23, explained ISRO chief Sreedhara Panicker Somanath yesterday.

The mission’s mass is 3,900 kilograms, and it will be capable of operating for one lunar day, the equivalent of fourteen days on Earth.

The goal of the Indian organization is to reach the unexplored south pole of the Moon, landing a probe on the surface to carry out scientific experiments and collect data on the mineral composition of the satellite and the presence of water.

If India fulfills its objective, and the probe manages to land intact on the rough surface of the lunar south pole, it will become the fourth country to succeed in such a mission, a feat achieved so far only by Russia, the United States and China. .

If India is successful, it will be the fourth country to achieve such a mission, a feat achieved so far only by Russia, the United States and China.

All previous missions, however, focused on the southern regions of the satellite and Chandrayaan-3 would be the first to land at the south pole.

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This is India’s third lunar exploration mission, after the Asian nation launched its first space mission to the Moon in 2008, Chandrayaan-1. Composed of an orbiter that circled the satellite more than 3,400 times without landing between November 2008 and August 2009.

The probe found direct evidence of water on the moon, and an analysis of measurements taken by Chandrayaan-1 with a NASA measuring instrument in 2018 confirmed multiple ice pools in the moon’s permanently shadowed areas, according to the US agency.

ISRO already tried in 2019 to land a probe on the south pole of the Moon with its second mission, Chandrayaan-2, but the mission failed to fall due to technical problems in reducing speed when landing.

To improve on its predecessor, the new probe strengthened the lunar lander’s legs and improved the software to have more tolerance for possible technical errors, such as what could cause the lunar landing failure in 2019.

The achievements of the Indian space program are accentuated if we take into account that the Indian Space Department (DoS), responsible for ISRO, has a budget this year of around 1.5 billion dollars against 26 billion for NASA, limited resources have not prevented the Indian organization to gain a favorable reputation.

Archive image of monitoring a space mission in India. EFE/Jagadeesh Lv

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